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How to Replace an Outdoor Faucet

Replacing an outdoor faucet is one of many home plumbing repair projects you can do yourself. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps for replacing your outdoor faucet with a frost-proof faucet, or sillcock.

A frost-proof sillcock has an extended pipe with the washer located at the end that connects to the plumbing inside the house so that the shutoff point—and therefore, any residual water—remains inside, eliminating the potential for freezing.

Following these instructions, you should be able to replace an outdoor faucet without the need to call a plumber.

  1. First, shut off the water supply inside the house that goes to the existing sillcock.
  2. Outside the house, open the faucet and allow any remaining water to drain out.
  3. Using a tubing cutter, cut the water pipe inside the house that goes to the sillcock. Next, go outside to remove the existing sillcock from the wall.
  4. Remaining outside, insert your new, freezeless sillcock into the existing opening. Mark the holes for the screws. Then remove the sillcock and drill the holes.
  5. Insert wall anchors into the drill holes.
  6. Apply waterproof caulk to the back of the flange on the sillcock. Reinsert the sillcock into the wall opening and secure it using stainless screws in the holes you just drilled.
  7. Smooth out the caulk bead and inspect it for any gaps around the flange.
  8. Remove the stem unit from the sillcock by unscrewing it. The connection is located just behind the faucet handle. This will prevent damage to the washer from the heat that will be used to solder the pipes inside the house.
  9. Measure and cut the amount of fitting pipe you will need to connect the water pipe to the sillcock.
  10. Clean the outside of both ends of the fitting, the end of the sillcock and the end of the water pipe with emery paper. Clean the inside of the pipes with a fitting brush, then apply flux inside and outside at the ends of all pipes and fittings.
  11. Next, connect the sillcock to the water pipe with the fitting pipe and solder at all connection points. Begin the soldering process by first heating the pipe and flux with a torch until the flux bubbles. Next, holding the solder on the opposite side of the flame, apply the solder to the joints in the pipe. Wipe away any excess solder. If you prefer not to solder, the following TecTite fittings are available as an alternative and do not require soldering or special tools:
  12. Once the pipes are connected and cool (if you used solder), reinstall the stem unit, turn on the water supply inside the house and check for leaks. Then turn on the faucet and check for leaks outside the house.

You now have an outdoor faucet that will withstand freezing temperatures.

CompletePlumbingSource.com is dedicated to making your home plumbing repair projects easier and more affordable by offering a variety of plumbing how-to articles. Check them out the next time you face a plumbing issue and learn how to tackle the problem yourself.